By Ella Anokam (08036873427)
Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State has pleaded with the the Federal Government to hasten the completion of the abandoned dualisation of Suleja-Minna road.
Bello also urged the Federal Government to be committed to the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electric Power project to increase power supply especially in Niger which electricity supply was meagre.
The governor who was represented by the deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, gave the urge on Saturday when the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Zarma paid him a courtesy visit in Niger.
The minister led other ministry’s officials to inspect the Federal Government projects on roads, housing and power in the state.
Speaking on the challenges confronting the state, he noted that the state being the largest state in terms of landmark across Nigeria has the highest federal roads.
According to him, many of these roads are in deplorable conditions hence needed quick intervention.
“The spate of construction at sight is too slow, especially in Suleja-Minna road which take commuters many
hours to pass.
“The Federal Government should hasten up in the rehabilitation.
“The state government has made a lot of effort to a certain area to see how the road will be motor able but still no result.
“It is not only on the Minna-Suleja road, there are other roads that are unknown to you that
are not motorable within the state.
“We appreciate the gesture of the government in trying to rehabilitate the road but it should be fast
to achieve its aim. If there are no good roads, the economy cannot grow.
Bello noted that the road from Katcha to Baro and Mokwa-Jebba road have been in a deplorable condition and would be worst in the rainy season.
“Using our financial strength to repair a federal road will affect the repair of some state roads which we still have to put in order.
“I am appealing to the Federal Government, whatever agreement in between you and the contractors handling the projects in the state please consider it.
The governor expressed dissatisfaction over the manner which the indigenous contractors in the state were not being considered in the ongoing construction of the National Housing Programme (NHP).
“I need the state contractors to be considered so that it will blossom the economy of the state and improve the lives of the people,’’ he noted.
He also called on the Federal Government to be more focus on the ongoing Zungeru Hydro Electric Power project.
“In the state, there are several Dams but the highest time for electricity to last is three hours or it will be rationed.
“Most of our youths rely on electricity for their petty trades and businesses to thrive.
“In as much as there is no light it makes the rate of crime and unemployment to be high.
The governor however appealed to the minister to covey the complaints to the Federal Government for adequate response.
Earlier, the minister had informed the governor that his visit was to assess and evaluate the housing, power and road projects in the state to boost infrastructural development.
Zarma said that the emergency repair of the collapsed Tatabu Bridge along Tegina-Mokwa-Jebba road in Niger state at 95 per cent completion level would be completed in June.
Zarma thanked the governor for his timely intervention which sustained the project when the ministry had issues with the community at initial stage of the bridge repair.
He noted that the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Baro road (Rigid Pavement) in Niger state C/No 62540 would be completed in 2018 by the GR Baulay and C Nigeria Ltd.
According to the Surveyor, the road when completed will ease the transportation of goods and services from the port thereby increased economic activities and growth.
“Baro is a river port town; the road will surely be an economic booster to the state.
Zarma assured the governor that with SUKUK fund of N3.5 billion committed to the Suleja-Minna dualisation for its actualisation.
He also disclosed to the governor that some of its indigenous contractors were equally engaged in another allocation of the NHP jobs.